By Diane Barnes
Heather Graves traces her passion for real estate to her childhood, when she delighted in her mother’s regular interior makeovers of their house in Texas. Now a Senior Associate at Cusick Group Realtors, Graves finds joy in guiding home-buyers through some of the largest, most personal purchases of their lives.
“It’s absolutely fun to watch someone standing in a house and they know that’s where they want to make their home,” she says. “You can see that light bulb go off and you can see them planting their furniture.”
Graves works to be her clients’ best advocate in the Washington, D.C. area’s real estate market, where financial stakes are high and competition among buyers and sellers is fierce. Her advocacy gives particular peace of mind to others in the LGBTQ community, which still faces legally sanctioned housing discrimination across much of the United States.
“I immediately give a sense of calm to folks in our community,” she says. “They don’t have to worry about being treated differently.”
Her approach has yielded dividends. In the last three years, Graves and the other member of her professional “duo” have together sold nearly $50 million in residential properties across Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. She says 95 percent of her business now comes from word-of-mouth referrals, offering one indication of her many happy clients.